Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lost Gem: "Circle Of Steel" - Gordon Lightfoot (1974)

Sights and sounds
of the people goin' 'round
Everybody's in step
with the season."

--> Gordon Lightfoot <--

When it comes to Gordon Lightfoot albums...I mostly cherry-pick the branches rather than take the whole tree. But what I've grabbed from this Canadian troubadour's catalog are absolutely killer and not to be missed.

Lightfoot has always reminded me of Jimmy Buffet...(without the tray of empty margarita glasses piling up around his table, of course.) That's not meant to be a bad thing...just that Gordie generally keeps it a wee-bit more serious.

His folk rock presence was most heavily felt in the 70's...thanks to his first and only #1 album in the States..."Sundown" (1974). Songs like "Carefree Highway" and the title track are daily radio staples and have remained timeless.

Lost Gem:--> "Circle Of Steel"......is a haunting portrait of a Xmas season for families of the welfare variety. And made all-the-more unforgettable by the beautifully played recorder (Jack Zaza)...that truthfully captures the harsh reality. Not your Griswold Family Christmas...no, not this time.

Have you heard this gem?

Rows of lights in a circle of steel
Where you place your bets on a great big wheel
High windows flickerin' down through the snow
A time you know
Sights and sounds of the people goin' 'round
Everybody's in step with the season.
A child is born to a welfare case
Where the rats run around like they own the place
The room is chilly, the building is old
That's how it goes
The doctor's found on his welfare round
And he comes and he leaves on the double.

Deck The Halls was the song they played
In the flat next door where they shout all day
She tips her gin bottle back till it's gone
The child is strong
A week, a day, they will take it away
For they know about all her bad habits.

Christmas dawns and the snow lets up
And the sun hits the handle of her heirloom cup
She hides her face in her hands for a while
Says look here child
Your father's pride was his means to provide
And he's servin' three years for that reason.

Good stuff!

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whiteray said...

Missed this when it came out. "Circle of Steel" is a great track, but that whole "Sundown" album is great. I've always liked Lightfoot, but my first boss was (and still is) as devoted to Gordy as I am to Dylan and Springsteen, and in the (many) years since I left that job, I've appreciated Lightfoot more and more. You should also give a listen to "If You Could Read My Mind" (the album) and "Shadows."

Casey said...

I absolutely will. I admit I haven't heard nearly enough of his stuff. Thanks for giving me a couple to lend an ear to. I dig that!